Solution-focused Brief Work: Individual or Group

What is Solution-Focused Brief work?

Solution-focused brief work is a way of having conversations that focus on the future and the goals you want to achieve. Many conversations within school can be thought of as 'problem-focused'. The idea seems to be that by exploring the 'problem' to a great extent, we will be able to figure out solutions. Underpinning Solution focused brief work is the belief that solutions are rarely related to the 'problem' and that it is not necessary to focus on the past to move forward to a positive future. These types of conversations assume that every person has some skills, knowledge or understanding within them, that can help to make their lives better.


When Solution-Focused Brief work is useful

Solution-focused brief work can be useful if problem situations are feeling 'stuck'. These types of conversations can be had with adults, children, individuals and groups. Solution-focused conversations can be also useful when problems feel 'low-level'. As it is a versatile approach is can be used for concerns about learning, behaviour and motivation (staff and students).


How we monitor and evaluate progress 

In solution-focused work the goals that are established are entirely personal and as such there are no particular scales or methods used to track, monitor and evaluate progress. During the course of the conversations scaling is often used to help clients appreciate their strengths and progress that is being made.


What sessions look like 

Common to most Solution-Focused Brief work are a number of tools and techniques. You can find more about these from the Institute of Solution-Focused Therapy.

  • Goal setting
  • Looking for previous solutions - drawing on your previous experience of solving similar problems
  • Looking for exceptions - times when the problem is around less
  • Future focused questions
  • The Miracle Question - what would things be like if a miracle happened and the problem was gone?
  • Scaling questions - rating progress on a 1-10 scale
  • Coping questions - finding out how you're managing to carry on despite the problem


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